My ritual includes:
1. Walk up to Sawyer and say hi, show him some pony love with pets and kisses, then clean anything in the stall that can simply not wait until after my ride.
2. Halter him up, brush him, pick his feet.
3. Check for any soreness, swelling, discomfort, ect.
4. Do a quick 'lunge' on his lead line just to be sure that he is moving well and doesn't seem stiff or short.
5. Fly spray his body, use fly repellent wipes in his ears and on his face because spray bottles will KILL him if they get near his face.
6. Check all tack thoroughly (we had a horrible tack failure accident that lead in a horse being put down at our barn recently). Pull on everything, check for dry or cracked leather, be an all around paranoid freak.
7. Saddle up. This sounds simple, but I manage to make it a chore. I put the saddle on and cinch it up half way, then send him on a quick lunge on the lead to see if I would prefer it further up/back. Adjust and repeat.
8. Bridle. This is the only no fuss part of the whole deal. Just have to make sure he doesn't try to eat the rubber bit protector thingers.
9. Stretch all of his legs, especially the front so the cinch doesn't pinch whatsoever.
10. Polo wraps... my WORST enemy... I get so OCD about them, I do each one about 4 times before I deem it acceptable. Luckily I only do front legs. I really should buy the veltro type ones, but I enjoy the 'art' of having perfect polo wraps!
11. Check cinch. Get distracted. Check it again. Run to grab something I forgot. Check the cinch again incase I imagined it the first time. Mount.
1. About 30 minutes later, and I'm ready to go, that's IF my horse has been our within the past 3 days and doesn't need an extra 30 minutes in the arena to get all of the pent up energy out.
Does anyone else have a slightly ridiculous pre-ride ritual? I know I'm not the only one .. If you think this is bad, my post ride ritual is even more intense